Does the iPad Support Adobe Flash?

The Photon Flash Player allows you to play Flash games on the web.

Adobe Flash is not supported on iOS devices, including the iPad, iPhone, and the iPod Touch.   Apple has never supported Flash for the iPad.  Steve Jobs famously wrote a detailed white paper on why Apple would not support Adobe Flash, which includes Flash's poor battery performance and numerous bugs that could potentially cause the device to crash.   Since Apple's release of the original iPad, Adobe dropped support for the mobile Flash player, effectively ending any chance it would find support on the iPad, iPhone or even Android smartphones and tablets.


Do You Actually Need Flash on the iPad?

When the iPad was released, the web was dependent on Flash for video.  But most major video sites like YouTube now support the new HTML 5 standards, which is a way to view videos in a web browser without the need for a third-party service like Adobe Flash.   HTML 5 also allows for more complicated or "app-like" web pages, so what you might have done in Flash ten years ago you can do without Flash these days.

Most websites and web services that previously required Flash have either developed a native web page that can be viewed in the iPad's web browser or designed an app for the service.  In many ways, the app store has become the second iteration of the web, allowing companies to deliver a better experience than may be possible in a web browser.  

Are There Any Substitutes for Flash on the iPad?

While most websites have moved away from Flash, some web services still require it.

 There are also a ton of web-based games that require Flash.   Don't worry, if you absolutely must have Flash support, there is a way around the iPad's lack of native support.

Third party browsers that support Flash essentially download the web page to a distant server and use a mixture of video and HTML to display the Flash app on your iPad.

 What this translates to is that they can be a little laggy or hard to control at times, but despite being processed remotely, most Flash apps work perfectly fine on these browsers.   The most popular browser that supports Flash is the Photon Web Browser, but a few other browsers also support Flash to varying degrees. 

The Casual Games Substitute

The most popular reason people want to run Flash on an iPad is the number of fun Flash-based games.  However, the iPad is the king of casual games, and most games on the web have an app-based equivalent.  It is worth searching the App Store for the game rather than relying on a browser like Photon.  The app version of the game will play much smoother as a native app rather than rely on a third-party server to essentially stream the game to the iPad.

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